THE NEXT BATMAN: SECOND SON Digital Series

Meet Tim “Jace” Fox, estranged son of billionaire Lucius Fox and man of mystery…what has the eldest son of one Gotham’s premiere families been up to for these ‘missing’ years and how does he find himself getting shot at in the jungles of Vietnam? Learn these answers and many more as the story of the SECOND SON begins!

A quick commentary, yes, being a millionaire in Manhattan is almost middle class. That is true. That I can personally attest to. Because if you’re not a millionaire and living in Manhattan…

And I believe Tokyo is an even more expensive place to live, so I imagine the same holds true.


Initially, when FUTURE STATE: THE NEXT BATMAN was announced I wasn’t all that interested in it.

Being a political junkie I knew who John Ridley was from his years of being a guest commentator on various cable TV political shows, and from his DC Comics/Vertigo miniseries THE AMERICAN WAY, and THE AMERICAN WAY: THOSE ABOVE AND THOSE BELOW follow-up miniseries.

I love the Jason Fisher character, by the way, and curious about the movie adaption.

Of course, I was also aware of who John Ridley was from his day job, and his Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for 12 Years a Slave.

And knew him from his screenplay for Red Tails.

Red Tails, also on HBO Max

So I’ve been a fan of his work for years.

John Ridley’s THE OTHER HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE I’m also a huge fan of, it’s my favorite comic book series, which I guess makes him my favorite comic book writer – even though he’s not a full-time comic book writer and has only really done a few miniseries.

That said, again, the idea of FUTURE STATE: THE NEXT BATMAN didn’t really move me all that much.

Then the announcement of THE NEXT BATMAN: SECOND SON.

“…this miniseries answers the questions behind Tim’s estrangement from Lucius Fox and the rest of the Fox family and his evolution from man of mystery to Gotham’s newest guardian.”

Now I’m interested.

What’s that Django Unchained Calvin Candie quote, “Gentlemen, you had my curiosity, but now you have my attention.”

And where is my hoodie with this cover on it, DC Comics Shop? (And I’m only half-joking.)

Suddenly though, with that announcement, I found that I was far more interested in Tim Fox the character than I was as him as the next Batman.

Also, after reading FUTURE STATE: THE NEXT BATMAN, I found that I was far more far more interested in Tim Fox the character than I was as him as the next Batman. (Ha!)

And by extension, the Fox family. He and they were what were interesting to me, not the Batman.

Back on January 4th, Den of Geek did an interview with John Ridley:

One particular quote stood out to me:

Where is this story ultimately headed? Will Tim eventually star in his own solo book or event series? Ridley isn’t saying just yet.

“There are other very specific plans that have been created that are going to be implemented [to] make Tim very much his own individual, his own character, and have his own emotional velocity to his storytelling.”

Hopefully THE NEXT BATMAN: SECOND SON is just the next phase in this overall plan.

And looking at it from a standpoint of John Ridley’s aforementioned day job (movies and television), could a “Second Son” HBO Max series be in the offing? I think that would be fantastic.

And Trevante Rhodes would be my choice to play Tim “Jace” Fox.

He starred in the Academy Award for Best Picture winner Moonlight.


I’ve mentioned this before, back on February 11th, Den of Geek did another interview with John Ridley:

Again, of interest, from a “who he is and how he came to be” standpoint:

Den of Geek: As soon as I saw that Tim Fox was the Next Batman, I was really excited to talk to you about that choice. You’ve spoken before about other lesser known Black heroes that meant something to you, who you’ve then later explored in your DC stories. Was Tim another one of those characters or was he someone who came up as you were researching and planning the series?

It’s been a really interesting journey getting to The Next Batman . I was working on The Other History and the second series of The American Way and I just felt very fortunate to be doing any of that. And at first I got these emails that Dan DiDio wanted to talk to me but I had to sign a nondisclosure agreement. But there was some weird thing where they were having trouble emailing it and this was prior to the pandemic, so finally they got all frustrated and were like, “Dan wants to have lunch with you.” We sat down and he said, “Oh we want you to write Batman.” That would have been tremendously cool in itself, but they said, “We want to approach Batman in a different way. We want Batman to be a character of color. But he’s going to be Batman. It’s not going to be an Elseworlds story, it’s not going to be, you know, the Dark Knight having his back broken. It’s not going to be temporary.”

Everything about it was trying to find the right way to express Batman. Who is Batman who’s a person of color? Not replacement Batman, not fantasy Batman, it’s going to be Batman. Going back a little bit, everybody in DC was very excited about The Other History . And initially the approach was, “Well, we’d love for you to create the next great DC comic book character.” That was the initial conversation before it became about Batman as a person of color. Initially, when Dan and Jim Lee approached me with that idea I was like, “Wow, I don’t know if I want to do that.” I know it sounds like a great opportunity, but I sincerely felt like, “Well, I’m too old to be writing a character that hopefully the next generation of comic book readers are going to want to be involved with.” Honestly, I think trying to create the next great character is a great way to fail. Anytime anybody in any space says, “I’m gonna do the next great whatever,” it’s just an opportunity to embarrass yourself.

So when they first approached me, I said, “I don’t know if I’m gonna be the right person.” And ironically both Jim and Dan said to me, “John, because you have that attitude, that’s all the more reason we feel like you’re the right person.”

That was that. And then, you know, months later Dan sits down and says, “Hey, we want you to do Batman. But we want you to do the next Batman.” We didn’t even have that title at that point but that was the phraseology he used. Then there were all of these things that happened with what people thought or what was meant to be 5G, and then Dan leaving the company and all of these changes. But what never changed was the desire to have a next generation of heroes. And one of them was going to be Batman and he was going to be a person of color.

Then we really got into who this person was going to be. Ben Abernathy is the group editor and I have a long history with him. Frankly, I wouldn’t be writing comic books if it weren’t for Ben, so I was very excited when he was going to be the group editor. He really was instrumental in saying, “I think that the right character should be Tim Fox.” The idea that one of the Fox sons should be Batman was a no-brainer. The conversations were out there and they were unmissable. But for me and Ben, Tim was the correct way to go.

He was always the second son. He was always this kid who just did not get along with his father. Who had divergent views about the family and the family status, and concepts of money and wealth and society. But also he disappeared for a long period of time. One of the things that was really fun for me on The Other History was leaning into things that happened in the DC Universe that may have happened because a character’s book got cancelled or that storyline just dropped away. And instead of ignoring it, how do you embrace things that happen in real life but really turn them into narrative arcs? And with Tim disappearing from the DC Universe for decades, why was he gone? Why did he go away? So using all of that negative space and saying, “Okay, we’re going to fill that void.”


As for this first issue of THE NEXT BATMAN: SECOND SON, I see it was a quick, action-oriented introduction. And it’s looking like it’s going to be a slow burn.


Looking back at the interview with John Ridley for FUTURE STATE: THE NEXT BATMAN, from the DC Blog:

A few highlights for me:

Of particular interest to Ridley is how Tim’s reintroduction to the Batman universe allows him to explore the Fox family, a dynasty that the writer feels is one of the most important pillars of the DC Universe.

“They’ve been incredibly integrated into the Batman universe,” he suggests. “Certainly with Lucius, when a character goes from the page to the screen, they become indelible, and what he represents as a friend, as a partner, as a father figure for Bruce, as a character that the world sees, and as a remarkable man who has the capacity to run one of the largest companies in America. That’s pretty remarkable in and of itself. Luke has risen to a particular level on the page, and he hasn’t gone beyond that yet. Tanya, as far as I know, never stated what her job was, what her role was. Same with the sisters and certainly with Tim.”

The hope, at least for Ridley, is that Future State: The Next Batman will cement the Fox family’s place in the DC Universe.

“The legacy would be to leave a wholly rendered family, and that any of these characters can then move on and inhabit other spaces in the DC Universe, whether they’re heroes, whether they’re just prominent characters that can be in the legal profession, business, finance and all the other things that really underpin what’s going on with Gotham,” he reveals. “If fifteen years from now, every one of the characters within the Fox family was a strong, durable, well-known, well-understood, individual character, that when they showed up, they had a history with specific narrative events—to me, that is the legacy that I would love to leave.”

Other characters have taken Bruce Wayne’s place as Batman before, but Ridley assures readers that Tim’s tenure will be memorable.

“Even when people didn’t know who was behind the cowl, you didn’t want to feel like it’s just another iteration of somebody playing Batman for a limited time because we knew that there was just much more for Tim to do,” he says. “Everything about Bruce was driven by the loss of his family, never really being able to attach himself to people, and that need to be Batman, that need to be an avenger. That’s made him a very, very lonely man, but also one of the most compelling characters in literature. And the biggest difference is that Tim has his family and that family is always there. He too is driven by family, but in a very different way. He’s going to have to reconcile much of that in real time.”

To see a fully-realized family, and since I’m black, to see a fully-realized black family in the comics would be a nice treat.

From CBR:

There have been other characters who have worn the cape and cowl. What are the challenges of creating a new version of Batman?

That’s a very good question! It wasn’t so much the challenge, but the opportunity with Tim Fox. There are folks out there who have wanted the mantle and were even trained by Batman. Why did they want it? What drove them to it?

For me, it was about being hyper-specific with Tim because so much of his origin story didn’t exist previously. To have this kind of void and to make his journey so specific within his family that has so many secrets and has been around Bruce and Batman so intimately, is going to lead to a very specific version of Tim Fox and Batman. There are many characters out there who could have been Batman, but I didn’t want to have to force change or modify anything, and using Tim allowed for a very particular narrative in the creation of his incarnation of Batman.

From FUTURE STATE: DARK DETECTIVE #3.


Anyway, again, an interesting start to this series.

I see some “Future State” connections; as to be expected, I guess.

Vol is there, Jace’s Russian “Alfred,” I suppose you can call him. His hacker friend.

And we close with another tie to current the BATMAN series, and some events from the “Future State.”


As for what the future holds for Tim “Jace”, from what I understand, Joshua Williamson (writer of the upcoming ROBIN and FUTURE STATE: GOTHAM series), recently said in a podcast – at approximately the 1:07 mark, that for current continuity stories that deal with Tim we should read BATMAN and DETECTIVE COMICS, as well as, of course, THE NEXT BATMAN: SECOND SON.

Also, James Tynion IV:

But beyond just dialing up the knobs on Gotham City, I wanted to make this feel like a whole exciting new era, with a whole exciting new status quo. Chalk-full of new characters and new challenges. He’s moving into a cool Townhouse in Gotham City in a new neighborhood, with nosey neighbors and tabloids under his nose wanting to understand the new life of Bruce Wayne, Millionaire. His old rival, Ghost-Maker is forcing him to touch up on his training, forcing him to recognize that he’s been sparring mostly with people he’s trained for the better part of a decade, passing along any weaknesses in his fighting styles. Batman is building new, lo-fi Batcaves under the city, and has a brand new Batmobile, with a host of cool tricks and gadgets that looks more like a cool car that can maneuver a city than a tank built for war. Harley Quinn has set up shop in Little Santa Prisca and decided that she is Batman’s new crimefighting partner (Batman disagrees with this. Strongly), and keeps showing up and causing trouble when he’s out on a case. The Fox Family is figuring out what it means to be the new first family of Gotham, and the responsibility that comes with that role. Barbara Gordon, Oracle is serving as eyes on a city that feels more and more like a powder keg. And Jim Gordon is trying to decide what his retirement from the GCPD is going to look like.

BATMAN #106 (variant cover)


On the whole, personally, I’m a bit conflicted.

On the one hand, I hope Tim becomes his own hero, develops his own identity. A new name (his own alter-ego), a new costume (his own look), that sort of thing; not just be “The Black Batman” but his own man. But that would be more of a current continuity want or desire.

If the variant cover above for BATMAN #106 is any indication of what’s to come in the current continuity, then I approve. I like Tim like that.

During the “Future State,” in that continuity, Tim is The Next Batman. So I guess I just hope for good story and cool art in that instance.

With the recent announcement of FUTURE STATE: GOTHAM, and the promise of more stories involving Tim, and the whole “rendered in stark, black and white tones,” it’s looking like I may get that.

Add in Tiffany Fox as the sidekick, from BATMAN BLACK & WHITE #3.

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Wonder if Tiffany Fox will be a hero as well. I became a fan of the character when I played Batman Telltale Season 2: Enemies within. In the game you either try to earn her trust or push her away as Bruce Wayne/Batman.
I’m really looking forward to read the Future Stats series, The Next Batman: Second son look really interesting. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Okay, this issue was more like it! This was good.

Tim “Jace” Fox has returned home following the tragic events of Joker War and Lucius Fox taking full control of the massive Wayne fortune. While his mother and sisters greet Jace, his younger brother had a prior engagement with an armed madman—as BATWING! The adventure continues in this exciting series as readers will come to know the man who will become a Dark Knight!

Tiffany and her hair! (Ha!)

Again from that Den of Geek interview…

Yeah, The Next Batman really leans into the family aspect. What is so exciting for you about getting to explore Lucius Fox’s family?

It’s been great. Anytime there’s in any entertainment space an opportunity to really excavate Black characters, female characters, LGBTQ+, Asian characters, Latinx character. Not just as characters, but to see them as people. Anytime there’s an opportunity to show marginalized demographics as fully formed people, that some of the biggest issues that they deal with are not necessarily the Joker or the Riddler, but just each other. That we’re not all monolithic. That there’s a greater service sometimes in the ‘tween pages. Those are the kinds of things that make it real.

So to me it’s great writing Batman, and it’s great writing Batman as a person of color, but the things that I really enjoy are just those real little moments where it’s just a line in 22 pages but it has such an impact. And it doesn’t necessarily have to have impact for every reader, it’s not hyper-politicized. But it’s one of those things where for particular audiences they love it because they’ve never really seen a scene between Tanya and Tiff. More page counts with Black women, great! Generational divides, great! However, people read it in that one panel, in that one line. There’s so much going on. And to me, that’s the stuff that I really love.

Yes, those little moments. They’re golden.

As before, I’ve found that I care not at all about Jace as The Next Batman. That is by far the least interesting thing about him to me. Everything else I’m fascinated by, the Batman part… who cares.

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That was a lot of reading.

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@Behemoth

Yeah, when I looked back on it, it was like, “Yikes.” (Ha!)

It took all of that to get it all in though, I guess.

I’m working on trying to be more brief or concise, but it’s a work in progress. [insert smiley face]

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If it helps there’s a way you can hide long passages and quotes using this feature

Summary

You would go up to the little gear on the upper righthand corner and click on the “Hide Details” option and it allows you to condense certain parts of a post so people can click on that specific part and read the entire thing in sections.

@Behemoth

Oh yeah, I’m fully aware of those features. I share precisely what is it I want to get across though. If I wanted to “hide” something then I wouldn’t bother bringing it up.

And truthfully, I was being somewhat facetious and self-effacing.

I’m fully capable of writing posts with a few sentences. I just enjoy long-form articles and tend to post that way often. It’s just a thing. [insert smiley face]

(Like rarely using emojis.) :blush:

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I do too!

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And the Fox family drama continues, as the world turns if you will…

Luke Fox is out looking for the Joker after the events of A-Day (as seen in the Infinite Frontier #0!) but is he really just channeling his rage around his older brother’s return? Jace has his most difficult moment upon returning to Gotham—the reunion with his father Lucius! And tragedy will strike at the very heart of the Fox family…

After what I consider a few wasted pages involving Luke as Batwing we get to the fun Fox family drama…

Then there was a little Luke and Tiffany drama.

Then we get some Luke and Jace drama…

And then closed out with some mysterious Tamara Fox drama and a cliffhanger.

The Fox family, where drama is thy name.

And with the aforementioned cliffhanger the slow burn continues.

I like this pacing. Again, I could do without the Luke Batwing stuff. Even with only the few pages that it’s been in during the last couple of issues, I don’t feel that it really adds much of anything other than just having a “costume” somewhere in the story.

Well, there is the…

…but is he really just channeling his rage around his older brother’s return?

So there’s that. So it does serve a purpose.

Just the same though, I feel that they could save those pages for more drama. [insert smiley face]

But yep, this is giving me exactly what I wanted, a bunch of talky-talk issues. A bunch of drama and little to no unnecessary fisticuffs. Yay for talky-talk… and may it continue for the duration of this series.

And of course the cliffhangers each issue. A nice tune in next week, same bat-time, same bat-channel vibe.

New John Ridley THE NEXT BATMAN: SECOND SON interview…

CBR: In Second Son , it looks like you’re going to be telling the story of how Tim becomes the Batman we saw in “Future State.” Is there anything that you’d like to add to that? Are there any details you can share about where this story is going?

John Ridley: Well, it’s certainly meant to add context to a character who has been off the page for years. We begin to answer the question of who he is, where he’s been, and what he’s been doing. There’s definitely an element of that. But Second Son wasn’t meant to be just an origin story, but more of a platform for the entire Fox family. In this series, readers will be getting a better understanding of the relationship between Tim’s parents, Lucious and Tanya, and a better understanding of his siblings, Luke, Tam, and Tiff. I don’t think it’s a secret at this point that Tiff is being lined up to be her own hero, and some of that parallels to things that are being set up to happen in the Bat-Universe.

We wanted this to be more than just Tim’s version of walking down the alley after leaving the movie theater. We wanted a more well-rounded story than that. I’m not saying origin stories aren’t well-rounded, but they’re very specific in their dispensation. They’re meant to set up one specific thing. There are certainly elements of that in Second Son , but we wanted to make it more active and immediate, and have consequences that went beyond just Tim/Jace.

One of the things that I’m really excited about in the storytelling is the Fox family as a whole, not just as characters, but also because we don’t get to see enough Black and brown families on the page that have good but complicated relationships. None of the other characters are there by accident either. Renee Montoya being offered the chance to be the Commissioner of Gotham is huge.

Yep, that last part is exactly what I wanted. The Fox family.

That’s what I want to read about and that’s what John Ridley is delivering.

CBR: Can we expect this series to reveal why Tim changed his name to Jace?

Ridley: That’s another really good question. We will certainly get a much better sense of why, how, and when he changed his name from someone who was there when it happened. We may or may not get the full, complete story though. But I will say that it’s not haphazard. I’m not just making this up as I go along. Tim is a person who’s going through a transformation; he looked at his past and decided that he was not the same person. There a couple of reasons why he chose that name specifically and what the change means to him. His reasons were very personal.

As I’ve told other people, I want to treat these characters like they are real. I don’t want to say that I do that and no other writer does, but that name change is very real and very personal. In Second Son , you’ll get more of an understanding of it, but the full story will continue to be revealed, as we delve more into Jace, his existence, and who he is as a person.

CBR: So I gather there’s, there’s a reason why he chose that particular name.

Ridley: Yes, absolutely. There are many very personal reasons, both for me and for the character. It’s a part of my life that I’m proud to represent.

Cool.

CBR: How much of Tim’s story is derived from your personal experience?

Ridley: A lot of it, from being around siblings who were better equipped and more successful than I was to obviously, being Black. I’m very fortunate to come from a Black family that was blessed with means, but also understanding that those means don’t necessarily protect you. Sometimes representing is an awesome responsibility, and it’s hard to live up to, but it’s a great feeling when you do live up to it. Sometimes it can feel burdensome, when you’ve fallen short, at least based on other people’s expectations. I can relate to all of those things.

I don’t put on a costume, go out at night, and try to fight crime. But I do understand what it means to have a moral compass and trying to do what’s right in a world that doesn’t understand what you’re doing. At some point, the public is going to realize that Jace is Black. We’re not going to shy away from what that means when that’s revealed. All of these things, are very much part of my lived experience, and an example of the things that I want to bring to the story.

And the interview continues.

But yep, a Second Son HBO Max series…

With Trevante Rhodes as Jace Fox…

Written by John Ridley, of course…

That would be incredibly cool.

WOW!!! Lots of info, but I really appreciate the in depth and throrough report!

Tim “Jace” Fox as Batman has been the highlight of Future State for me (although Kid Quick is a close second). I’m so glad to see we’re getting more time with him under the mantel and growing into what he became because I’ve really just loved every moment.

Also, omg, Trevante Rhodes as Jace is literally the perfect casting choice. I didn’t realize how much I wanted him in that role until hearing it. Just absolutely spot on. His performance in Moonlight was incredible, filled with so much nuance and emotion. I think he’s literally the perfect person for the job. Absolutely love it. Hope they make it happen.

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@OmniLad

Yeah, I’ve found that there’s so few comics that I actually truly enjoy, so when I find something I go all in.

And as I go off on a tangent…

And honestly… and I appreciate the recent push for diversity that’s being done in comics, but when looking for a black character to read, and a black character that’s the lead character, there’s not a whole lot to choose from. There’s still only a handful from each publisher.

Since I’m a DC guy, DC publishes three or four dozen titles currently. When it comes to a black character that’s the lead of a book though, well… you have about three or four choices out of that three or four dozen books that they make. So not a whole lot of choices.

NAOMI is over for now. FAR SECTOR has a couple of more issues left. GREEN LANTERN is starting soon. And this, THE NEXT BATMAN: SECOND SON. And Milestone will be starting soon. And that’s about it, I think.

And there’s black characters, but they’re mostly in (or will be in) team books. Very, very few solo books. And I’ve never been much of a fan of team books. One or two here and there, but on the whole, no. No, I like solo books.

So it’s like being stranded in the desert and finally finding water.

Plus, they seem to interview John Ridley fairly regularly of late (I guess it’s because he currently has three or four projects out now), so there’s plenty of info.

Also, his THE OTHER HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE is what got me back into comics “full-time” after years of not reading and just following comic news looking for something to read.

My list of comics that I like or think I’m going to like, and just for my own sake to know what I’m going to be buying…

  • THE OTHER HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE
  • THE NEXT BATMAN: SECOND SON
  • SUPERMAN RED & BLUE
  • SUPERMAN '78
  • WONDER GIRL
  • ICON AND ROCKET
  • RORSCHACH
  • THE NICE HOUSE ON THE LAKE

And maybe STATIC and HARDWARE.

There may be one or two others, but that’s it off the top of my head. And of course always looking to see what the future holds.

And coming back from my tangent…

Anyway, yeah, Trevante Rhodes as Jace Fox just came to me after seeing that cover to THE NEXT BATMAN: SECOND SON #1. It was like, “Yes, that’s who I would like to see play Jace Fox.”

Of course, curious to see what they do with Jace Fox after this digital-first series. It’s a twelve-issue series, so what’s next? Does John Ridley want to do anything more with him?

Does anyone else even have an interest in wanting to write about him? I would guess probably not but who knows…

And I would guess a dream team for me for a Jace Fox ongoing would be John Ridley and Olivier Coipel.

Teaming up yet again after the Jace story in THE JOKER WAR ZONE one-shot and BATMAN BLACK & WHITE #3.

I don’t believe John Ridley has any desire to write an ongoing anything though, but who knows…

And if they don’t have much of any plans for Jace after this twelve-issues that’s fine. I honestly don’t really expect them to do much of anything more with him other than guest spots here and there.

They may surprise me though…

Either way, I’ll enjoy this while it lasts and wait for the next one or two things that they do.

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The slow burn continues, and how a few things became the way that they are in the “Future State” are revealed.

The family struggles with Tamara’s relapsed condition and to complicate things, a connection to Jace’s mission against Arkadine surfaces in Gotham (and a frightening new adversary reveals herself). Also, Nakano’s mission to crackdown on masks in Gotham takes a further turn as new police commissioner Renee Montoya promotes her two new detectives—Future State’s Whittaker and Chubb!

Drama…

And new Commissioner, Renee Montoya, and how Chubb and Whitaker from the “Future State” got their promotion.

Jace and his Russian “Alfred” from the “Future State,” which leads to another revelation at the end of the issue.

Luke and Tiffany drama.

Back to Jace, and I wouldn’t mind if this is his “costume” (or at least not get too crazier than this) from now until whenever… from now until whenever the “Future State” comes to pass.

Be it five or ten (or twenty) years in our time if that’s the case; or never.

And the reveal at the end, and how Tim will get his toys – or rather, how Jace will get his toys…

Reading this feels like watching, or reading or whatever, a TV show.

Family tension boils over with Tamara’s condition, leading to some…violent…outbursts. Jace undertakes the most hazardous mission of all—going to work for his father, Lucius! What secrets does Fox Tech hold for a master hacker like Jace?

As ever, I’m loving the talky-talk.

This time it kind of sets up “this week’s episode.”

And it continues with a few Luke scenes as Batwing. And Commissioner Montoya, and Chubb and Whitaker, and other Gotham City Police Department detectives in a meeting involving the “No-masks” platform.

Kinda neat.

Back to Jace, and loving the non-costume “costume”…

Cancel culture, son.

Anyway, and the cliffhanger this week is with Luke in a Batwing situation.

Who cares though, it’s all about Jace, the second son. (Ha!)

But yep, nice and grounded. And very TV show.

Very nice.

So, at the half-way point of the series.

Luke Fox goes looking for the culprit that forced Tamara’s overdose and relapse the first time (from the pages of Batwing!)—Ratcatcher! But is prepared for Ratcatcher’s dangerous new “family”?

So it opens with Luke Batwing action that sets the pace for the issue.

Add in a little Commissioner Montoya and the detectives from the “Future State” and their first mission together – dealing with the aforementioned Luke Batwing situation.

And then the delectable Fox Family drama…

Then back to the bat-action with Batwing Luke, and Ratcatcher, and homeless and runaway kids with automatic weapons, and Gotham City cops, and oh my… [insert smiley face]

And then the drama again.

And we close with the Tiffany situation, and we see where the seeds are first planted for John Ridley and Olivier Coipel’s BATMAN BLACK & WHITE issue.

So now we know where Tiffany Fox, The Kid-Sister Wonder™ first started.

Neat.

Oh, and there was a recent Newsarama interview with John Ridley…

An interesting exchange to me was…

Nrama: Grifter appeared in the first digital chapter of this - a relatively deep cut in comics, even if he reappeared recently in James Tynion IV’s Batman run. Are there any other deep cuts into past characters or storylines you’re aiming to include in Second Son?

Ridley: All I’m going to say is ‘Yes.’

Nrama: Deep cut or not, who else can we look forward to seeing in this book in future chapters? Will we see the likes of someone like Nightwing show up?

Ridley: I will say that there is a character showing up who I hope is very beloved in the DC universe. A character that I think is one of the really interesting characters in the DC universe. He, she, or they is a great character. I think underutilized. I could not be more excited to have this character come in and they will be very pivotal in explaining Jace’s past. How Jace might have any capacity to potentially put the cowl on.

I think that when this character shows up it really helps indicate where Jace is going to fit in the larger DC Universe, and the kinds of characters that already exist in the DC universe that if there is more of Jace, the kinds of characters that you might see.

But to answer your question, yeah, most definitely. You’re going to see some characters from the DC universe, but I think one in particular shows up that is really going to help bridge Jace’s previous existence to the present into the larger Bat universe.

Curious. Who can it be?

Gotta keep tuning in same bat-time, same bat-channel, I guess. [insert smiley face]

And after a bye week, an off-week, the drama continues.

Jace sizes up Arkadine’s new Gotham City muscle, Eabha O’Roark, with an ambush…and she’s going to be even more of a challenge than he could have anticipated! And what was the cause of the fracturing of the Fox family a decade earlier? What drove Lucius to move his eldest son overseas permanently? Secrets are about to be revealed…

A couple of beat-downs later, and…

So that was Eabha O’Roark.

And I like the motorcycle, the Jace-cycle.

It’s very, very cool looking. I wouldn’t mind having something like that myself.

And more “Future State” foreshadowing.

“Future State” foreshadowing with a dash of “end of issue” foreshadowing as well.

And at last… the drama. The delicious, Fox family drama.

And after a brief check-in with “Future State” detectives, Whitaker and Chubb. And more foreshadowing for those two showing how their path’s diverged and where we eventually meet them in FUTURE STATE: THE NEXT BATMAN #1

After that interlude we get some pre-courtroom goings on – and of course a bit of cliffhanger drama…

Yep, I’m really liking this.

It’s slow and boring, and no silly costumes and fisticuffs… perfect. Just how I like my super-hero comics. [insert smiley face]

No, this feels like a Vertigo comic almost. And that’s really cool, because Vertigo was pretty much all I read for years.

And this feels like a TV show too.

But that’s of course not surprising given who the writer is, John Ridley. And I wasn’t aware that he wrote an episode for the Static Shock animated series back in 2003, and for the Justice League animated series in 2004.

Of his television work, Guerilla is among my favorites.

Anyway, same Second Son-time, same Second Son-channel next week.

I’m kind of surprised that this comic isn’t promoted more clearly - I caught up this weekend, and was shocked at how closely it ties in with what Tynion and Tamaki are doing. I was under the impression that it would be before or after the point in the timeline that the main stories are happening, but instead, it’s a direct connection with everything else that’s going on. For the most part, I’m enjoying it, though I’m still annoyed that they refuse to explain where the name “Jace” came from, and the use of the “cancelled” term was so misplaced - it shows no understanding of how it works. If Ridley had just used “over” or “finished”, it would have been fine, but the attempt at relevancy fell flat - but thankfully, that’s the only time it felt so forced.

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@millernumber1

I’m pretty sure the use of “cancelled” was Jace be facetious, or being flippant, or dismissive or whatever.

So I don’t think (personally, at least) that there was any misplacement or anything like that in it’s use.

And the term “cancelled” isn’t really that hard to understand either. [insert smiley face]

In fact, the term “cancelled” is a facetious and flippant, and dismissive term. There is no other proper context for it other than that – that’s what it is, a flippant remark.

And that character, Ubetz… he’s someone who, like Vol said, is someone who is “internet famous” and beneath Jace even worrying about. He was a joke and was treated as such by Jace.

At least that’s how I read it.

And yeah, as for the name Jace…

John Ridley addressed it in an interview last month.

CBR: Can we expect this series to reveal why Tim changed his name to Jace?

Ridley: That’s another really good question. We will certainly get a much better sense of why, how, and when he changed his name from someone who was there when it happened. We may or may not get the full, complete story though. But I will say that it’s not haphazard. I’m not just making this up as I go along. Tim is a person who’s going through a transformation; he looked at his past and decided that he was not the same person. There a couple of reasons why he chose that name specifically and what the change means to him. His reasons were very personal.

As I’ve told other people, I want to treat these characters like they are real. I don’t want to say that I do that and no other writer does, but that name change is very real and very personal. In Second Son, you’ll get more of an understanding of it, but the full story will continue to be revealed, as we delve more into Jace, his existence, and who he is as a person.

CBR: So I gather there’s, there’s a reason why he chose that particular name.

Ridley: Yes, absolutely. There are many very personal reasons, both for me and for the character. It’s a part of my life that I’m proud to represent.

CBR: How much of Tim’s story is derived from your personal experience?

Ridley: A lot of it, from being around siblings who were better equipped and more successful than I was to obviously, being Black. I’m very fortunate to come from a Black family that was blessed with means, but also understanding that those means don’t necessarily protect you. Sometimes representing is an awesome responsibility, and it’s hard to live up to, but it’s a great feeling when you do live up to it. Sometimes it can feel burdensome, when you’ve fallen short, at least based on other people’s expectations. I can relate to all of those things.

I don’t put on a costume, go out at night, and try to fight crime. But I do understand what it means to have a moral compass and trying to do what’s right in a world that doesn’t understand what you’re doing. At some point, the public is going to realize that Jace is Black. We’re not going to shy away from what that means when that’s revealed. All of these things, are very much part of my lived experience, and an example of the things that I want to bring to the story.

So I imagine by issue #9 or #10, or by maybe issue #11, we’ll get a better understanding of it.

Which is what I assumed all along anyway.

Okay, this was the best issue yet…

What tragic event on Jace Fox’s 17th birthday forever altered the course of his young life and tore his family apart? The truth is at last revealed at his deposition…and it’s not what you think it is!

The truth as it were, starting from the beginning…

And then some mother Fox drama.

And then spoiled rich kid, Tim Fox…

So he’s about his “business,” huh? [insert smiley face]

And more of spoiled rich kid, full of himself, Tim Fox.

Yeah, the “I got a jet” line never works.

I tried it before and it didn’t work for me either.

And I’m kidding. It did work.

Still kidding.

Back to Timmy. I like him.

Yeah, Tim… not good.

And skip ahead, and…

Yep, not good.

This series is pretty good.

And like the issue said, “The truth is at last revealed at his deposition…and it’s not what you think it is!”

Yeah, I was not expecting this, but it was kind of cool.

And yeah, I don’t care about Jace (or Tim) becoming The Next Batman or anything like that. No, his life as Jace and Tim is much more interesting to me than any Batman stuff he might do.

And Jace kind of resents money now it seems. Interesting.

Jace-time!

The painful wounds of an estranged family are re-opened with Jace’s deposition…and more of his “origin” is revealed! The Next Batman’s formative years are revealed for the first time!

You should listen to your mother, Jace.

She’s just doing what’s best for you.

And then a “Future State” Chubb and Commissioner Montoya interlude about how the “Masks” are soon to be outlawed, and setting up how Whitaker came to be the way he is in the “Future State.”

And then Jace and drama… oh joy. :relaxed:

Listen to your father, Jace.

Kids just do not listen. They think they know all the answers. :relaxed:

And when think that you have all of the answers and you don’t listen to your parents you end up where… yes, military school.

And we meet Vol for the first time. Yay.

Hadiyah with the wisdom… the wise one.

You still should listen to your parents though, Jace. Then and now. :relaxed:

Anyway, we learn how Tim (Jace) learned how to fight.

As ever, this is a really good series, I think.

The pacing is just perfect – the slow burn is pitch perfect. It’s doing everything right. And I’m a little afraid because that rarely ever happens. :relaxed:

And just a few more issues to go, so not much time left for a let down, I guess. So I may have a near perfect series here.

Oh boy and oh joy.